For a story that revolves around the nature of the self and what it means to be human, CyberPunk sure does spend a lot of time making certain that almost everyone in the game acts like an NPC with no soul.

There isn’t a whole lot to complain about with the modern CyberPunk of today when stacked up against the CyberPunk on release day. For one, the game actually runs now. And with the rapidly approaching Liberty City expansion, which essentially overhauls much of the games mechanics, there’s little room to complain within the game’s space. I’m going to try to, anyway.

I’ve been playing the game as a means to collect footage for a proper review on my YouTube channel, and now that I’m approaching 50 hours, I can feel the slog coming on. The fun is grinding down into a repetitive meltdown, and what used to hook me, the world, is now an eyesore that looks about as interesting as a messy painting you’re forced to look at on the way to work every day.

The Gunplay

The gunplay is, actually, pretty solid. No news here; the game has been out for three years now and everyone who has heard anything about the game has probably heard that there isn’t much to say about the gunplay. The mechanics associated with hip firing, maneuvering, ADS combat, and melee (this one is very fun) all tie together to make a smooth combat experience, which is just as well since 99% of what you do will revolve around combat.

The quick hacking mechanic, which sees your character mentally hack into a foe’s mind, is a little lackluster in satisfaction for me since it requires your character to quite literally slow the game down and stare at enemies before initiating a quick hack and wait for it to work its magic. A simple fix that I’d like to see implemented would be the inclusion of a hotkey system that allows for quick pinging of hacks on enemies instead of having to navigate through a UI in slow-motion every time you get into combat (which, again, is 99% of the time in 2077).

The World


I hinted at this earlier, but the world, named Night City, is very, very interesting to explore at first. Within the first 5 hours of gameplay, you’ll find yourself eager to see more of it, even if the exploring you’re doing isn’t holding hands with a quest marker or side activity. After that five hours pass up, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything of note beyond repetition, repetition, repetition. If you want a world that feels alive, go play GTA V. If you want to see an example of a world that does a poor job of hiding the unkempt kitchen from the customers, then go play CyberPunk 2077.

Right outside your starting house in 2077, two cops are sitting upon stools in front of a food vendor. The first time I came across them, I stopped to eavesdrop on their conversation. They argued about the safety of their last interaction with crime before halting the conversation and staring at each other. I found this to be fine. Thirty minutes of gameplay later and I found myself walking by them once again, only to hear them repeat that same exact conversation again and again and again and.. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Take that kind of design, which forgets to just program these cops into not repeating themselves throughout the entire game anytime the player walks within 50 feet of them, and apply it to the world of CyberPunk. It takes the player out of their attempted immersion and reminds them that they are, indeed, playing a deeply flawed product. Cheers.

The Story

Where the combat serves to provide a fun challenge in 2077, the Story serves as one’s motivation for pushing on when the side content (of which there is very little by way of variation) proves too repetitive. And it is within the story that we find our immature coolness factor. The story and its characters are cool, and they are written very immaturely.

The game, as aforementioned, revolves around a philosophical question aimed at the soul and humanity as a whole. Having Keanu Reeves hold our hands as we plow through crazy situation after crazy situation is entertaining. The only problem here is that the writing and direction exhibited throughout the game can be lackluster, to say the least. Some lines are delivered as though the voice actor didn’t know what kind of situation the player was going to be involved in during its execution, and some lines are delivered properly, but written so poorly that it comes off as attempted cheese in a satirical environment.

And don’t get me wrong, the game is satirical in many ways, but it flip-flops so frequently between trying to take itself seriously and trying to achieve an audience of laughter that it isn’t hard to see the areas in the game where the satire is used solely to phone it in without getting criticism from the playerbase. This weakness takes the entertainment and, just like the world itself, pulls the player from their seat of immersion and plops them back into their room, a little more annoyed than they were the moment before.

As for the question the game poses to the player; if the people in Night City actually do have souls, and this separates them from the AI that surrounds them, I am not impressed, and would rather spend my time with the Delamain crew.


Comment Below